What do you do when the one you have been caring for doesn't see that you need a break?

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I have been caring for my very ill father for almost two years on top of my own illnesses and for the past few months I am totally exhausted. What is there to suggest when your parent will not go to a respite place so you can get a rest? I have pleaded for this and it is not working. Even Hospice has talked to him about it. I thought I would feel guilty even asking but I know and my body is telling me that if I do not get a rest I will end up in the hospital. It is a hard situation and one that has me depleted of energy, let alone what it is doing to my teenage son as well. We want the best for my father but he is difficult to manage at times and I do not think he realizes due to his illness how much of a toll it is taking on me. I do not get the family support like I wish I did as well as everyone is too busy or does not want to come here. The stress has me getting sicker as the days go on even though he stays in bed all day I still have to be on guard for him falling, meds, etc. Any suggestions. He is my father I love him and he is a Vet as well. It has been the hardest two years of my life. I am 55. Thank you.

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
crystal, it is very clear that you need some time off. If I understand correctly, you want your father to leave the house and go into respite so you can have some time off. I understand that so well. Sometimes I think of how wonderful it would be if I could just have one day in my home when I didn't have to take care of anyone. People sometimes suggest going on a trip, but that misses the point. I don't want to have to go on a trip in order to have some time to myself. I just want to wake up in my own bed with nothing to worry about for the day. Sounds like heaven.

I see your father is living in your home. This is a very difficult situation, since he is in bed all day. Would Hospice do the transport and handle the respite time? Making it seamless would make it easier. What kind of accommodations are in place.

If you have made good plans, I would tell him what the plan is and give no options. Tell him you are going to be away, so there would be no one to take care of him. He may then see he has no options.

Please don't let him discourage you from taking care of yourself. We all need a break. I'm sorry that the rest of your family is not there for you.
Thank you so much Jessie. I wish I had found this site long ago - say like two years ago. It is the HospiceVA contract and he will not sign the DNR order so he can not go to the VA. Hospice got special permission to have him so somewhere else and someone would have to take him. He does not want to go and when he went to the VA last week they told him he does not have to go anywhere. Lord I could write a book about all of this but want to try to keep it short. You are right they are having some home aide come in my home for two hours on the 29th of this month but that is not what I need either. I need to wake up like you said - better yet, get a nights rest of good sleep and not have to worry about what I have to do. It is a hard situation and one I am getting concerned with more even as I pray on it and know that the time has come I have to do something as I am getting too weak and sick myself. I just had back surgery two months ago and standing too long is hurting my nerve pain. I will talk with Hospice this week and see what could be done. From what I am hearing unless my father signs something I am stuck! So I am almost to the point of saying forget it but my body is saying no I will not! He thinks I am trying to oust him out of here and says somethings that are hurtful and then apologizes. I realize this is his disease but one can only take so much. He had a fit with me when I called Hospice in but I am sorry it was either that or I was going to have to talk to them at the VA. He was angry and it is my home.. Like I said in another comment I could write a book about this now. I love my father and have always had a close relationship with him my entire life but this here I really do not think he knows or wants to accept that I now need a rest from this. A few family members think that I can handle this - little do they know what a toll it takes on someone and then to deal with my own disabilities it is stress..too much. Not good for me. Not good for Dad and not good for my son who loves him as well and it is killing him to see him this way. I finally put my foot down as well as he was smoking in the room there and I could not take it. I ended that for the safety of my home and of him burning himself. Now if he wants to smoke he has to get out of that bed and go outside. Everynite I could smell it come through the vents and I would stay awake to make sure he did not burn the bed. I should of been firmer long ago I know this. And all my life always loving and pleasing our parents but there comes a time when you just have to be 100 percent honest with them whether they get mad or whatever it is for their own good. I appreciate your words tonight so much and I love this website. What made me come in here today I will not know but I think it will help me as it has already reading what others are going through. Many blessings to all of you here and I am happy I found a place to write about this.

On one more note I do not know either if I should be disclosing comments about my Dad, the VA or Hospice. Please let me know if I am out of line in my comments. I respect the respected and being new to this I am unsure. I am a pretty private person but am also a writer and love to interact with like-minded people.
crystal, everything you wrote is fine. The only real rules on the site are not to link to other internet sites except government and not to be nasty to people. Those are pretty easy to follow.

There are so many options available to you. I hope you will find one that your father will be happy with. It would be so much easier if we weren't related to the people we care for. People often are concerned with losing their independence if they have to go to a facility, even for a little while. If you reassure him it is only for a set number of days, then perhaps he will be reassured. You have probably already done that, but maybe if you do it a couple of more times, he'll understand.

We run into so many tough situations when it comes to elder care. Sometimes people comment that it is like taking care of children. And I think it is nothing like that, since you can make kids do what you want them to. Getting an elder to do something seems to require an act of Congress. Often we get discouraged and give up. I hope you don't get discouraged until you get the rest you need.
Top Answer
crystal, you look your dad in the eyes, tell him that you love him and TELL him that you need a break and that he IS going to go somewhere where you know he'll be taken care of so that you won't worry, and that WHEN you feel better you WILL be taking him back home again. Have all your ducks in a row before you confront him, by having the place all picked out and ready to go. Don't whine or complain about how ill you are, just make it matter of fact and follow thru. He'll be fine, you'll be fine, all will be well.
Thank you for all your great suggestions and yes I know what I need to do as I have been too ill to continue this journey. I have tended to my father with all my illnesses and when my health is a serious issue I know there is something I need to do and I have written it all out and will present it to him after this holiday this week. There is so much responsibility on one person and I do believe it has taken a real toll on me and my health. That is not whining or complaining but stating facts and honesty. I will see how it goes. Since I also do not have support from the family besides my son and one brother who does not live close by I know I will be making this call on my own and doing exactly what is right for my father and for my situation. Your body, your mind and your heart tell you when something has to give and that is where I am at today. There is no sugar coating anything when what needs to be done needs to be done. I stayed silent too many years and it does not pay to be holding things in when it comes to the seriousness and health of a parent or anyone else for that matter. I understand my parents illnesses all too well after caring for him and throughout the years. I am not a nurse and a nurse would better fit his condition now then a daughter would. When it is time to do this, it is time, maybe past the time as my aunts have told me year ago you cannot keep doing this. If I had a husband or a man in the house to help or the support here with my siblings it would of made a difference but that is not happening, therefore I will be the one to make the final decision on my fathers care. Guilt is none. At one time I thought I would feel that but it is more relief for me and my father as the time has come to be utmost honest with MY feelings with all of this situation. Thank you so much for your comments. What a great group of people here.
As someone on this board told me, "it's time dear".
I too got sick , hospitalized and was critical. 8 years of CG. I still have mom in respite, over a month now. And I still can't bring her home. She is better off. I am. Better off. I hate that I "failed" to carry on to the bitter end, but it was her or me. I was drained to the point I was actually "trudging" by body to move and do the hard work. Now everyone tells me how much better I look, the stress is lifted.
DO IT. Let yourself heal. Non-caregivers do not understand.
Oh thank you so much. No one seems to think that it is taking a toll on me but they are not here either to see how I look or even begin to know how I feel. I love my father like crazy but I also know if he was in his right mind now he would know that it is too much for me. It is sad and I too feel bad at what the decisions have to be but I know if I don't do something my son will not have a mother as well. Let alone the stress he is also going through watching the man that was more of a father to him since his own father never cared for him. It has been so hard on my son to see all of this and I wonder why he does not come home and spend more time here now. It is stressing him out too. I have had plenty of talks with my boy about this and he has fear. The fear that Poppa will pass in the house here. I am in a tough situation and my brothers (well two of them) don't seem to understand why it is I can not do it anymore. It will bother me to get a respite or have to make a drastic move to get Poppa in a place but I have to do something as I am too sick anymore with no sleep and trying to take care of myself is null and void, even though I try to sleep it does not come easy anymore. You are always on guard. I don't know what to do when he does not want to leave here. Lord I ask for your help in this situation. Thank you so much Here4her! God Bless
Like I said, others just don't get it!!! My brother in law stopped in to our business this morning and my husband told him my mom was still in respite and that I looked 10 years younger already. We love them so much, but caregiving is so hard and unless you have walked in those shoes outsiders can't comprehend. It's sad you give your all till the life is sucked out of you and it means nothing to others/family.
Crystal, please, please, please get yourself some relief! You are down to the wire. And you know when that happens. You are there, sweetie! Whatever it takes, do it. It will be stressful getting it done, but you will bounce back if you do it now. Don't wait until it is too late. I was afraid I did. So many chronic illnesses, I was in bed more than mom. Now my energy is back and we are embarking on a new adventure in life and it's exciting.
Please don't put it off. No matter what ANYONE says. HUGS!!!

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